1866: Dr. George Culver Palmer to Dr. Alonzo A. Palmer

Michigan Asylum for the Insane, Kalamazoo

This letter was written by George Culver Palmer (1839-1894), a son of Abel Palmer (1801-1872) and Sarah Main (1816-1866). Dr. Palmer prepared for Brown University at the Connecticut Literary Institute at Suffield, but subsequently changing his plans entered the University of Michigan in 1860, where he spent one year, subsequently entering the medical department and graduating therefrom in 1864. Immediately afterward he received an appointment in the Asylum for the Insane at Kalamazoo. There he served as assistant physician until 1872, and as assistant medical superintendent for the following six years. In 1878 he was elected medical superintendent, which position he occupied until 1891, when he resigned to assume the duties of medical director of Oak Grove. Although his contributions to medical literature are not numerous, he was a vigorous, forceful and persuasive writer. He distrusted his ability to write and once remarked that “some people write for fame but I because I must.” The satisfactory development of the colony system in Michigan was largely due to his efforts, and the opponents of state care of the insane found in him a determined, steadfast and earnest adversary.

Dr. Palmer wrote this letter to his older brother, Dr. Alonzo A. Palmer (1836-1866), who was quite ill at the time and died less than a month later on 13 December 1866. Alonzo practiced medicine for a time in Ohio and in Rhode Island before returning to his boyhood home with terminal illness. He died unmarried.

George, his brother Alonzo, and their parents are all buried in the Chapman Hill Cemetery in North Stonington, Connecticut.

Stamped Letter



Addressed to Dr. Alonzo A. Palmer, Pendleton Hill, Connecticut

Michigan Asylum for the Insane
Kalamazoo [Michigan]
November 18, 1866

Dear Son:

Yours of the 11th inst. is received. I was glad to hear that you [were] comfortable though regret that you take cold so easy. Are you dressed in flannel wrappers & drawers? If not, don’t fail to supply yourself immediately & then go out doors every day. Excuse no economy in relation to your own comfort for I am willing to send you all my salary if necessary.

I have made inquiries in relation to your wine but you don’t mention it, I don’t want to force it on you but it seems to me that a rich diet & wine are the best remedies for you.

I am in my usual good health & hoping to hear good from you. I remain yours &c.

— G. C. Palmer

Michigan Asylum for the Insane at Kalamazoo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

%d bloggers like this: